Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

27 October 2008

Eviscerating the Private Sector

The private sector is under total attack by government, the mainstream media, and socialists, who are now nearly everywhere in charge of educating our children by virtue of their control of the public schools, of colleges, arts and culture, and increasingly of religion. The attack is unremitting and the inroads toward total control of the economy are terrifyingly extensive. What has happened:
  • It has been established in the courts that anything we may wish to sell, whether goods or services, is subject to regulation under the Interstate Commerce clause of the Constitution, despite its purpose being to free trade.
  • The financial industry was heavily regulated, but now the winners are chosen by the federal government using bailout money, with those not being chosen being forced to merge by takeover with those who were chosen.
  • The disposal of waste products is largely controlled by governments, with many areas having draconian recycling laws which make no economic sense.
  • It has long been law that governments can prosecute a company for charging more for its goods and services than other companies do (proves monopoly), or for charging the same (proves collusion), or for charging less (proves cut-throat dumping). Woe be the company that angers government.
  • Homes and commercial buildings cannot be built in most areas of the country without currying the favor of local and often state governments. When they are allowed to be built, they must often be built according to archaic, expensive building codes. Architectural designs must often be approved by conventional thinking local agencies. Often homes can only be built on very large lots, which means that it only makes sense to build large, expensive homes on those lots.
  • The Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency a very freely exercised power over power plants, manufacturing firms, and the user's of many products such as paints, aerosols, insecticides, and plastic foams.
  • The Clean Water Act controls the use of water and the emissions or dumping of chemicals which may pollute water sources. It also means that low spots which are only very occasionally wet, cannot be used, since they are declared wetlands.
  • Employers are required to hire some people and reject others, sometimes forcing them to adopt racist policies. They are required to serve as unpaid tax collectors and record keepers for governments and their employees. In some cases, they are required to confiscate the pay of their employees.
  • People are required to subsidize many businesses through their tax monies. Examples of such businesses are those farmers who grow corn, rice, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, sugar, sugar beets, and many other crops; banks, especially those favored with bailout money; home mortgage holders, especially those in default who will soon be given bailout money; industries protected by tariffs, such as sugar growers, ethanol producers, steelmakers, and many more; power companies using wind-driven electric generators and solar power; companies granted monopolies by government such as cable companies, electric power companies, land-line telephone companies, gas stations on many toll roads, and others; and by companies and individuals given licenses for operation such as cab companies, plumbers, electricians, interior decorators, beauticians, real estate agents, certified public accountants, doctors, psychiatrists, dentists, EPA and FDA and state and local government accredited laboratories; those who purchase energy-efficient cars or who add insulation to their homes; those who send children to college on student loans; those who send children to public education schools; those small businesses who get subsidized loans from the Small Business Administration; those businesses owned by favored minorities and by women; businesses located in depressed zones; and many other activities favored by government.
  • Redistribution of income using the progressive income tax, which moves money from those who create wealth and value to those who do not. This is an essential defining characteristic of socialism and has no basis in the American heritage prior to the New Deal in about 1937.
  • Rare and unimportant species and the occasional hill or mountain take precedence over human needs for land or resources even in situations where the harm to the living species is unknown or minimal while the harm to humans of inaction is very clear and considerable.
  • Businesses are required to keep expensive records of all transactions involving money, despite the fact that their only purpose is to be used as evidence against a firm that it is not paying some tax money some government wishes to take from entities with no voting privileges. The more government can tax business the happier it is, since voters care little and understand little about how these taxes have deleterious impact upon their lives. Businesses are required by Sarbanes-Oxley accounting requirements to use accounting procedures which make little economic sense.
What do we have to look forward to? Much more of the same. This includes:
  • The declaration that the use of most energy forms produces polluting and climate-changing CO2, so our use of all the major forms of energy will be curtailed. This means much less economic activity since coal, oil, and natural gas use will be greatly reduced, despite the fact that this will do very little to reduce climate change, which is dominated by the forces of nature, not by those of man.
  • Much more massive redistribution of income, with non-taxpayers receiving deceptively termed tax rebates from hard-working and creative thinkers who earn higher incomes.
  • Slower economic growth caused by reduced use of energy, more expensive energy, less efficient investment of income due to government favored redirections, less total investment since lower income people invest less, an unwillingness to invest in longer term projects because of erratic and arbitrary government interferences such as changes of tax law and emission standards, the holding of investments for excessive periods to avoid paying higher capital gains taxes, shifting investment into government bonds, the increased commitment to expanding operations abroad where corporate taxes are lower, and creative and hardworking people working less.
  • A great increase in required service to the government or to those charitable activities it may favor. Women will be required to register for the draft. More schools will require community slavery, err... service, before children are allowed to graduate from high school. College loans will be dependent upon signing up for service with the government, which will put many ignorant and untrained young people into the business of using government power, resources, and our tax money to do all sorts of mischief.
  • Heavier dependence upon Social Security for retirement as stocks and securities either continue to shrink in value or grow much more slowly. As the economy grows more slowly, the tax income to support those on Social Security will diminish. Obama would give tax rebates to people who do not pay income tax, claiming that the rebate is really because they pay Social Security taxes. The distinction between income tax and Social Security tax will be completely lost. Since the Social Security money already collected has already been spent largely on non-Social Security programs by the federal government, that distinction was already very weak. In order to continue the Social Security program for Baby Boomers and beyond, the tax burden on the remaining workers will increase until they rebel, assuming that their vote is any longer able to take power away from the governments. Obama may choose to rule as his socialist hero Hugo Chavez does in Venezuela where the voters have little say.
  • Freedom of speech will be everywhere as limited as it is now on most college campuses and in most public schools. Important issues will no longer be discussed, because if an issue is important, it has the power to make someone upset and it is not allowable to upset anyone, unless he is intelligent, hardworking, and a creative and rational thinker. The remaining pablum which we will be allowed to talk about will be the subject of radio talk show hosts chosen initially to have equal numbers of conservatives and socialists and very few libertarians under a Fairness Doctrine. After awhile, all libertarians and most conservatives will be banned, since it will be claimed that they are guilty of hate-speech and racism or that they are global-warming deniers.
  • Human beings will be discouraged from procreating, since they are considered a threat to the planet and natural ecosystems. They cut down forests, build homes, use resources, and breathe out the greenhouse gas CO2. Humans will be considered inherently evil by most people rather than just the elitist environmental radicals of today and those young people recently rolled out of the propaganda mills called schools. Western Europe and Russia, where new births are far below replacement levels, will set the example in the U.S. where our population is damned for growing.
  • Massive depression of the population will set in as they realize that they cannot do anything unless they get the approval of 25 government agencies, all of whom are fighting for power and have different, often contradictory, requirements. Many more people will turn to alcohol and drugs, as they do in Russia, to forget their helplessness and their total insignificance. Some, those who can remember the time, will dream of living a self-directed life.
  • The United States of America will be as jaded as France and Germany. People will lose all sense of individuality. They will be defined only by what gender, race, and economic class they fall into. Employers will have the duty to provide jobs and will be thoroughly hated. More and more, government will attempt to chain them to their posts. Slavery will make a historical return with minorities and women as slave masters of so-called white males. Of course, this slavery will be directed through the agency of government, so that it will be easier for people to pretend that it is just required service. The slave masters will be many, rather than a single individual.
If we should fly with McCain, he will push us out of the plane with a deployed, but badly ripped parachute. If we fly with Obama, he will push us out of the plane in a free-fall without a parachute. We sure do have a lot to look forward to as we watch the ground come rapidly closer, before socialism gains its last death grip on us as we imprint the earth. Our deaths as individuals will be unlamented, but we will be damned for that last imprint we make upon the earth.


Anonymous said...

What you concluded in your discussion regrettably is more accurate than most citizens realize. And unfortunately I believe we have reached the tipping point where our citizens look first to government to solve their problems rather than themselves. Socialism cannot be far behind.

Charles R. Anderson said...

The United States has been significantly socialist since 1937 under Roosevelt. We also had a brief period of significant socialism in WWI under the socialist Wilson. Eisenhower reduced the socialist measure somewhat following Roosevelt and Truman, as did Coolidge following Wilson. Unfortunately, the socialist inroads upon our individual freedom, the only kind of freedom there is, remained substantial. LBJ took us much further down the socialist road and Reagan retracted a small part of that further commitment to socialism. Now, it appears that Obama is set to take us much further down that socialist path. He is a most thoroughly committed socialist, who will make more pragmatic socialists like Roosevelt and LBJ look like pikers.